Wednesday, June 12, 2013


DummyDummy by David Patten
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"From his birth in 1954, David Patten was unbearably sensitive to the world around him. Unable to concentrate or learn the basics of reading and writing, he was punished and pathologized, labeled lazy, stupid, and a troublemaker. David was finally diagnosed with dyslexia, among other elements in the autism spectrum. But at a time when these disorders were little understood, David was unable to get the help he needed, and he gradually fell into the dark underbelly of American life. David's struggle to survive and find a life worth living included time in a mental institution for attempted suicide at fourteen, and life as a drug dealer in Chicago's criminal underworld. Eventually, David's exceptional abilities in abstract and analytical thinking led him into the technology field, and a lucrative six-figure career as a crisis manager and trouble shooter. His story of gradually transforming disabilities into skills, hopelessness into freedom is a testament to the power of the human spirit." (

This book is not your typical autism story. Honestly I think the author mentioned autism maybe twice in the whole book. This was the story of his life and what he did many times to survive. The book starts off with David being fired from a job he has held for many years. The bosses pretty much backdoor him out by refusing to allow him to do his job the way he has for twenty plus years.

Then he starts to talk about his life. His early childhood, his parents, and his brothers. His mother took him to doctor after doctor trying to find out how to help him. He eventually left regular school after a suicide attempt and a brief stay in mental hospital, only to end up at one of the worst alternative schools in Chicago. He did some time as a drug dealer.

At one point he was so determined to get a high school diploma that he ended up living in an abusive situation in California separated from his mother. Eventually he escaped the situation. With some help from state offices he was able to graduate college.

It was a good story and the author has obviously been through alot but he doesn't look back on his experiences as bad. He looks at them as what made him who he is today.

*I received a copy of this book through netgally. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated for them*

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